Mumbai: MVA partners to meet today amid controversy over renaming Aurangabad
File Photo

Amid raging controversy over renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies have decided to sit hold a meeting to hammer out a solution for the ticklish issue. It being said the co-ordination committee of MVA partners will meet on Tuesday evening. The matter has almost brought the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance to the brink.

The Shiv Sena's demand to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has caused unease in the year-old Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.

On December 31, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat had said if a proposal to rename Aurangabad comes up, his party would strongly oppose it. Thorat further said changing the names of places was not a part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, in which Congress and NCP are partners.

"If any proposal about renaming Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar comes up, the Congress will oppose it strongly. Our party does not believe in changing names as it does not lead to the development of common man," Thorat told reporters.

"Although we are part of the MVA alliance, we will surely oppose this kind of proposal. However, I am not aware of any proposal about renaming Aurangabad," he added.

Despite Congress’ objection to renaming of cities, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s official Twitter handle referred to Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar on January 6.

While elaborating on the tweet, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, "What's new in what I have done on Twitter? Aurangzeb was not secular so Aurangzeb does not fit in the secular agenda."

Meanwhile, hoping to soothe the ruffled feathers, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP said the three partners always discuss things among themselves before arriving at a decision.

"We have been in this manner for the last one year in this (renaming) matter of Aurangabad also, we shall sit together and decide," Pawar told mediapersons.

Aurangabad’s renaming issue isn’t new. The demand was first made by Shiv Sena almost two decades ago. A proposal to that effect had been passed in the general body meeting of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in June 1995, which was challenged by a Congress corporator in the high court and later in the Supreme Court.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal